Jail-dodging Denis MacShane has some nerve. Next week the shamed expenses cheat will speak at a “Crisis in Policing” debate to mark the launch of the 2013 Orwell Prize. The only crisis in policing is the fact that the phone-hacking investigation took specialist officers away from nailing him over his £125,000 expenses fiddle. A man who should be behind bars gloating about the problems faced by those who failed to nab him. Ballsy…
No.10 have finally broken cover on the most important story of the day:
Larry shouldn’t hit girls though…
The Culture, Media and Sport select committee will give BBC director general George Entwistle the most humble day of his life next Tuesday, the day before the elections to fill it with new faces. With the three promotions and a by-election, four vacancies have opened up. Ben Bradshaw , the shunned former Culture Secretary, has replaced Tom Watson on the Labour side. Meanwhile the Tories who have publicly declared are:
- Conor Burns – Tory A-lister turned Lords rebel Burns announced he would be standing earlier this month. Good opportunity to remain high profile.
- Angie Bray – Needs a new job after being sacked as Frankie Maude’s PPS for voting against Lords reforms, while sources close to her have been pointing out her long media career.
- David Morris – The Tory MP has thrown his hat in to the ring, and even has the backing of the Hoff. Rick Astley’s former keyboardist certainly used to sport a cultured mullet back in the day.
- Jason McCartney – MP for Coln Valley, defected from LibDems in 2007. Former journalist and broadcaster for Radio Leeds.
- Tracy Crouch – female ref and footy fan would certainly have the sport aspect sorted.
- Mike Weatherly – The MP for Hove used to be Pete Waterman’s money man – another music industry expert.
Being the most famous select committee, CMS provides a major opportunity for some grandstanding. Guido hears there are eight Tories in the running to fill their three spaces, but CCHQ don’t have a complete list and nor do DCMS…
Who are they? Email Guido…
Jeremy Hunt’s PPS Rob Wilson has attacked the NHS Trust responsible for Stoke Mandeville hospital, demanding that they hold an inquiry into the allegations that Jimmy Savile abused young patients in their care. In a letter seen by Guido sent this afternoon Wilson notes how the hospital has claimed that those working at Stoke Mandeville had no knowledge of the allegations, a fact clearly contradicted by the testimony of former employees to the papers this weekend.
And that’s not to mention the even darker stories starting to come out…
The Huffington Post is attacking Starbucks’ tax dodging this morning with the claim that despite earning millions in the UK it pays only 1% in corporation tax. Another headline clearly demonstrating how Mehdi Hasan’s appointment has shifted Arianna Huffington’s website markedly to the left. That left-wing politics are subordinate to corporate profiteering is graphically illustrated by the fact that AOL pays even less UK corporation tax than Starbucks, less than 1%, a miniscule 0.15%:
The latest company accounts available show that in 2010 AOL UK Limited, HuffPo‘s owners, had a revenue of some £78 million. Their accountants certainly earned their fees ensuring that AOL paid just £122,000 in corporation tax. They cleverly and arguably somewhat aggressively pulled £30 million out of the reach of the UK tax authorities by “repatriating” a dividend payment to AOL UK’s sole shareholder – a tax avoidance special purpose vehicle (SPV) AOL Europe Sarl, registered in the tax haven of Luxembourg. Giving AOL/HuffPo an effective tax rate of less than 1% despite returning a massive 38% of revenue to shareholders.
Not only does Arianna not pay her UK bloggers, her company doesn’t pay UK taxes either. Guido applauds their ingenuity in legally avoiding taxes, however the hypocrisy reeks. Left leaning HuffPo campaigns against tax avoidance yet shelters nearly half its annual earnings offshore in Luxembourg. People in offshore glass houses shouldn’t throw large, tax-shaped stones…
Sometimes a picture just says it all…
Former child actor turned investigative journalist Ben Fellows has written a damning piece about his early career ‘running the gauntlet’ of paedophiles through the world of television, media and even politics:
“When I was between the ages of ten and the age of consent, on every television programme and theatre job I did, I was either sexually harassed, coerced into drinking too much, felt up in some way, or simply followed home by a crazy male fans.
In what is possibly the most flagrant two fingers to public opinion since the last time MPs gave themselves a pay-rise, Westminster’s cash-guzzlers want to up their pay to almost £100,000-a-year. That’s despite a ComRes poll for IPSA finding that two thirds of the public already think MPs’ pay is too high, with one in three saying it is “much too high”.[…]
Guido can exclusively reveal this morning that the BBC are facing mounting pressure to prove that they are a “fit and proper” organisation to hold a broadcast licence. Tory MP Philip Davies has written to Ofcom boss Ed Richards demanding the BBC face the test into their probity following the Jimmy Savile sex abuse revelations and the subsequent cover up that has emerged in the last few weeks:
Tricky to argue with that…[…]